It’s my fault, really.
I was feeling bad for Pip, our tiny cat, because unlike Tigger and Bailey, we had no reason to reward her with regular treats. Tigger gets treats because he is the only one who’s figured out how to use the cat door, and Bailey gets treats for letting us brush her, but Pip had nothing. I worried that she might be suffering from “middle child syndrome”, perhaps feeling left out and neglected. So when she started scratching on the scratching post I got really excited, because now I had a “reason” to justify giving her treats as well.
I’m sure you know what happened next. First, the fact that she was finally using the actual scratching post in no way stopped her from scratching the carpets, the furniture, the other cats, us, etc. Second, now that she’s figured out the Treat Rewarding Protocol, I swear that all she ever does anymore is harass me-running across my feet every time I stand up, walking back and forth over my hands as I’m trying to type, rubbing her entire body across my face as I’m trying to read a book until I’m suffocating from breathing in 7 cats’ worth of hairballs-in hopes of wearing me down until I surrender and give her additional treats.
We pretty much spend every day locked in this same power struggle, a struggle which she usually wins because, HELLO!, I am just one woman, battered and bruised by the storms of chronic pain and fatigue, and she is one determined cat with NOTHING TO DO ALL DAY EXCEPT FOR THIS. I started ranting about this to my husband the other day in hopes of earning some sympathy for the trials and travails I courageously face each day, but he just didn’t seem to get it.
“I don’t understand why you’re making such a big deal out of this,” said Mr. CFG. “So what if she gets two treats?”
“I’ll tell you what the problem is,” I said. “First of all, it’s the principle of the thing.” (Although I’m not really sure what principle I was referring to. The Principle Of, We Shouldn’t Get What We Want? The Principle Of, Crap-This Is My Own Damn Fault? The Principle Of, For Some Reason I Think I Must Find A Way To Bend You To My Will Which is Ridiculous, Because You Are A Cat And You Will Always Win? ) “Plus, if she knows I will always give her two treats, then she really will just spend all day forcing me to give her more treats. And soon, all I’ll be doing all day long is giving her treats. And then we’ll have to start throwing entire bags of treats at her but she still won’t be satisfied, and then we will go bankrupt from having to buy so many treats, and we’ll end up living in a box on the street, which she will probably then steal from us to see if she can exchange it for treats, and then we will have nothing. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?!”
(No, I don’t spend 10 hours a day alone with cats. Why do you ask?)
So, just to review:
–I decided that Pip needed some treats.
–I found a “reason” to give her some treats.
-She then did what cats do, and tried to get more treats.
-I got mad at her for acting like that cat that she is, which I imagine is akin to walking around enraged by the fact that, as a citizen of Planet Earth, I cannot escape the laws of gravity.
Clearly, I *&#%&*EINGNSGITNGIMNJPD “Oh, God, no, NOT THAT!”&#*(%Y@&*(%JVU(WO#(sounds of shrieking) (*gurgle*)EVERYONE PLEASE REMAIN CALM AND STAY IN YOUR SEATS. JUST PASS THE TREATS AND NO ONE ELSE WILL GET HURT.